Dashed Dreams

I hadn’t planned to tell you this story today, but….

Everywhere I look lately it seems this idea presents itself to me in some form or another… **Katie, you can make all the plans you want and that’s jolly good but your Father is in charge. Just don’t forget that, honey.**

 

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.     Proverbs 16:9

 

This is the story that we have never told publicly but maybe it is time.

Years ago, when our now-big boys were young ones, Mr. Patient was the co-leader of an annual summer mission trip to another country. He joyfully led large groups of all-aged folks to a city where the group members helped by encouraging the local people and church members, playing with children in an orphans’ home, building homes for local folks, you get the idea. They were willing to participate in the Lord’s work in whatever way they were needed. This trip was, and still is, a big event for many groups of people in this middle Tennessee area and beyond. Mr. Patient absolutely relished leading this trip each year despite the mounds of planning tasks involved. His own daddy even joined and quickly became a favored member of the group due to the joy that radiated from him as he joked, hugged and loved all with whom he came in contact.

Mr. Patient had been involved in the Lord’s work in three other countries prior to his leading this particular group. But, it was this trip and the folks with whom he worked in that location which were so very close to his heart and soul. He adored the local people of that area, especially the children, and had become close in heart to a set of siblings. These children were cared for in a local orphanage–well-cared for, I might add. Their needs were met and they were happy. But, they did not have the mama and daddy that God designed children to have. They “took to” Mr. Patient (and his daddy, “Pop”) like a kid takes to candy.

In the months and years prior to Mr. Patient’s mission trips/work, I had been desiring more children in our family. We were not preventing pregnancy and were praying that the Lord would provide us with more babies. Adoption was not forefront in our minds. Until….

We had been praying for more children and slowly began speaking of adopting “a child God wants us to help.” Looking back, we are so very thankful for the urging of our oldest son in helping us consider adoption as an option. Mr. Patient just wasn’t quite sure about adoption, however. And that’s OK. It was the Lord’s job to convict him, not mine or our son’s.

I will never forget the morning that I dropped my dear husband off at 3AM to meet his mission-minded group who was waiting to travel to the airport. After he and I said ‘good-bye’ and he exited the van, I uttered a quick prayer almost without thinking, “Lord, please change his heart toward adoption.” We now know that the Spirit encouraged me to pray that early morning because I wouldn’t remember doing so until much later in the story He was writing.

On that very trip, Mr. Patient emailed me several times with the shocking news that he all-of-a-sudden felt we should adopt those siblings to whom he had become so very close in heart. Without remembering my early morning plea to the Father, I responded to each email, “Absolutely! Do it! Find out how we can provide them a home!” I had not met these children and visited with them on an annual basis like my husband had, but I trusted his judgement and I knew for sure that he loved these children. I also knew that children need a home.

Months turned into a year… During that time it appeared that the Lord opened door after door for us to walk through, making it apparent to us that adopting those children from another country was what He wanted of our family. Money was given to us to defray adoption costs, flight miles were given for us to visit that country’s version of Children’s Services, folks were excited for us and praying. Well, not all folks….

A group of (Stateside) men who helped make decisions for these particular children’s welfare wrote us a letter. Not a nice, kind letter expressing their thankfulness that we were attempting to provide a loving home for orphans, but a harsh, mean, rude letter expressing how much we were the enemy. The letter-writers claimed to be Christians, which is what hurt more than anything. We were under the false impression that followers of Jesus were kind and especially wanted to see children in loving homes with a mama and daddy who would adore them like their own biological children. We had the false impression that these men would be excited to have us adopt the sibling group so that they could help even more of that community’s needy children. We certainly were under false impressions indeed. For the end result, and clearly outlined in the nasty-gram, was that Mr. Patient was “banned” from returning to that children’s establishment because of our attempt to adopt from there. Wow, what a shock!! Talk about being crushed by the Enemy! He used those who claimed to follow Jesus as his instruments. Wow!! That was a hard, hard blow to us and Mr. Patient has never fully recovered. He looks at the many photos he has of himself with that precious sibling group who loved him so much and he just weeps. Years later, he weeps. He whispers to the photos, “I am so sorry I couldn’t help you. I wish you could know that I tried. I love you kids.” He stills longs to explain to them that he didn’t abandon them like it appears. He does still love them. He wants good things for them. But, since Mr. Patient is so very honorable, he has not returned to that place except in his heart. In fact, the powers-that-be immediately added a new policy phrase to their literature that no one can adopt, or attempt to adopt, from that facility. If folks do attempt to adopt, they too will be banned. If you go there or see their literature, you’ll know we are the reason that interesting policy has been added. Don’t ask us to explain their actions. We can’t. Years later it still makes no sense to us. Brokenness cannot be explained.

But…..BUT….GOD!! The Father of Redemption!

Abba Father used this whole stinkin’ scenario for His Good. That nasty experience completely changed Mr. P’s heart toward adoption. After that failed attempt he began praying, “Lord, please send us the child/ren you want us to help.” That man prayed this over and over. He prayed it through a financially hard time. He prayed it at mealtimes. He prayed it for months.

Our Father was watching. He was listening. He was preparing to respond.

As we found ourselves out-of-funds for even more costly adoption attempts, we prepared our home to accept children from our State foster care system. That right there is an ordeal and my hat is off to any and everyone who does so, let me tell ya! Nevertheless, we jumped through all of the State’s hoops. All the while Mr. Patient continued that prayer. I can’t say that I did, to be honest with you. I was tired and I doubted.

One day we found ourselves with three more family members–not one more child….but three! The way God orchestrated THAT is worth telling on another day, in another conversation. Yes, it is definitely worthy of its own chapter of our story.

You see, the children we adopted were being born during the time of that failed adoption. We look back and are nothing short of amazed at how our Heavenly Father used this yucky situation with that “other place”, which bases its practices and policies on Christian values, and then blessed us with more family members by using an organization that is quite secular indeed.

Our plans are not necessarily His plans. He **does** want great things for His children. The world **is** broken and confused. But, He can redeem. He is in the business of redemption. He rewards the faithful. I firmly believe this is what He did. He rewarded my faithful Mr. Patient for his love of the needy, dedication to the poor, devotion to orphans, faithfulness to his family, consistence in prayer.

It is super-okay to make plans but let’s remember Who is ultimately in charge.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (my all-time favorite verse)

Be blessed, ya’ll

❤️ Katie

{The name of the orphanage or the country in which it is found will not be mentioned or discussed. We feel the children there are cared for in a safe, loving manner so we don’t wish to jeopardize that care. Many of our friends still visit this institution, although they don’t know this story of ours. Until now. The board members who wrote the nasty-gram to us have since been replaced due to the passage of time. We are saddened for these particular men, whom Mr. Patient knew/knows personally. We are sad for their attitudes and souls but we hold on to the fact that our Lord turned this incident into something good for our family and the children which He sent for us to accept as part of our family. We are sad for that sibling group but we pray that Lord will guide and protect them. Mr. Patient holds onto the hope that one day he can have the opportunity to explain to those children (now young adults) the situation and relieve them of any concerns that he abandoned them so like their own biological parents did. To God be the Glory for His Will in all of our lives.}

 

2 thoughts on “Dashed Dreams

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  1. Wow! What a heart wrenching story, but what a mighty God we serve! I’m so thrilled with the children you DID get to make your own!

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